Prague was the seventh richest region in the European Union in 2017 in
terms of per capita GDP, according to the latest data released by Eurostat.
The Czech capital occupied the same position in the rankings a year
GDP per person in Prague two years ago stood at 187 percent of the average for the whole of the EU. UK capital London topped the rankings, achieving 626 percent of the EU average.
The centre of Prague could soon boast its own version of Covent Garden as an expensive reconstruction project on a marketplace located just off Wenceslas Square is set to begin later this year. Prague City Hall says the target is to create a cultural and commercial hub in the spirit of other western capitals.
Junior coalition partners the Social Democrats have come out against a plan
by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO for the creation of a government
district in Prague’s Letňany district, Novinky.cz reported on Friday.
The idea would involve moving state officials out of city centre buildings.
The Social Democrats have joined opposition parties in opposing the plan,
with senior members saying it could threaten the historical locations
currently housing ministries and needed to be analysed in more depth.
The idea’s chances were recently boosted after a meeting between the prime minister and Prague Mayor Zdeňek Hřib, where the latter said he would be willing to give such a project the green light if the government paid for some crucial investments in the city’s infrastructure. While no agreement has yet been reached, Mr. Babiš has said that he wants to continue with the negotiations.
Some two dozen people gathered outside Prague Castle on Sunday to protest
against the security checks at the gates to the Prague Castle compound,
which were introduced in 2016 and have remained in place since.
The security checks, which every tourist or local must undergo if they wish to enter the compound, have brought protests from travel agencies and members of the public who were used to visiting the seat of the head of state freely.
The president’s spokesman has repeatedly defended the security checks saying they were made following recommendations to the Office of the President by security experts.
The Czech capital has agreed in principle to provide the state with land
towards creating a special government district in the Letňany area, Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) said.
Some 10,000 civil servants at the Ministry for Regional Development and dozens of other state bodies could be relocated there. A new hospital and apartment buildings would also be built in the area.
In return, Prague wants 60 billion crowns to complete the city ring road, to build apartments at the current Na Bulovce Hospital, and transfer ownership in dozens of buildings, including many now vacant.
PM Babiš said his government will send a specific offer to the city within 14 days. It is not yet clear how specifically the proposed exchanges should take place.
Earlier, the Prague City Councillor asked the prime minister for an unused state building that could serve the city instead of the Škoda Palace, which it now rents.
After an absence of nearly 40 years, trams are set to again run up and down Prague’s Wenceslas Square. The city council have just approved a plan for a tram connection between existing tracks on Vinohradská Street and those crossing the lower half of the city’s main boulevard. If everything goes according to plan, trams could return to Wenceslas Square as soon as 2022.
The 18th century Villa Bertramka in Prague, notable for its connection to
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, has been declared a national cultural monument,
the Ministry of Culture announced on Monday.
The villa, which was turned into a museum dedicated to the famous composer several years ago, has been closed for over two years for reconstruction. The Mozart Society running the museum has had problems revitalizing the property and making it attractive for visitors.
According to the ministry, the status of a national cultural monument would help the society in its endeavour.
Mozart stayed in this villa on his visits to Prague in 1787 and 1791. The museum has acquired some of the composer’s valuable manuscripts, his harpsichord and a lock of his hair.
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